Item 10: General William Holmes diary, 23 August 1914-22 February 1915 - Page 86

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[Page 86]


Strong German Wireless Signals were intercepted by all our stations here about 4-0 a.m.   Lieut. Creswell, F.W.T.P., is of the opinion that Bita Paka, or some station in the vicinity, was working.   Patrols  were sent out from Herbertshohe to see if the station had been interfered with in any way.

At about 10-0 a.m. received at Government House message from Lieut. Col. Watson that Capt. Stevenson had informed him the "Berrima" was to leave Rabaul for Sydney durect at 4-0 p.m. and there would be an opportunity to send passengers and mails.

Lt.Col. Paton was at once instructed to arrange for the balance of late German Officials, except those now employed, to be advised to proceed by the  "Berrima" (28 were deported to Sydney).

At 12noon Captains Lewin and Stevenson visited Government House and informed Administrator that the "Australia", "Montcalm" and "Sydney" had left  the previous evening at 11-30  for Suva, the base of the Australian Fleet.

The "Encounter", 2 Destroyers, "Aorangi", "Grantala" and Collier were to leave at 3-0 p.m. for same place, and at 4-0 p.m. the "Yarra", "Berrima", "Upolo", Submarine, "Fantome" and "Protector" were to leave for Sydney.

The "Sumatra", "Meklong", "Madang" and the "Nusa" were to remain at Rabaul under the direction of the Administrator, also a 12 lb Field Gun from "Encounter".

At 2-30 p.m. Captain Fry called on the Administrator and supplied information that the "Komet" was in hiding around North-coast.   Her masts had been removed and it was reported  being erected on shore as a Wireless Station.   The ship was lying close in shore screened by Cocoanut Palms placed around her.   Mr. Whiteman could take an expedition to her.

Administrator sent this information officially to Captain Lewin on "Encounter" just before she weighed anchor, but he stated he had orders to proceed to sea and could not take any action, but thought "Sumatra" and "Nusa" could deal with her if necessary.

The confirmation of the sentence of the Court Martial assembled to deal  with charges against  Col.[our] Sergeant Langtry was issued, the Prisoner being reduced to the ranks and sentenced to 1 month's detention.   He was sent to Sydney on the "Berrima".

Captain Twynam and Captain Travers went to the signal station on the  hill "Mutter" to see the  arrangements made by the signallers there.

Lt. Holmes returned from Raulawat at 10-0 p.m. bringing spare parts of motor car for repairs with him.   The car  is at Raulawat.

-A message-





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